On days I need to give the old belly a bit of a break, I eat cottage cheese. I picked up this habit from my mom, who would serve us melon and cottage cheese for dinner on those hotter than hot New York City summer nights. In the winter, I douse my cottage cheese in hot sauce (usually Cholula with a splash of Frank's or Sriracha). Aside from the fact that I really enjoy the stuff (large curd only please), it's a high protein, low-fat snack with lots of active cultures to help my body rebound from whatever damage I was doing. —Carrie Vasios
I feel skinnier just thinking about eating cottage cheese. Is artisanal cottage cheese a thing (?), because it should be. —Alaina Browne
Something terribly spicy. You know, the kind of Thai or Vietnamese food that immediately clears your head and makes your nose run incessantly? That's the stuff. —Nick Kindelsperger
If you eat a whole grapefruit it will cancel out a piece of banana cream pie, right? That was my thinking yesterday after our pie columnist Lauren dropped off two of her beautiful pie creations. I feel like grapefruit wears a superhero cape, zapping fats out of the body with its zingy, cleansing powers. Lauren also made a key-lime pie, which inherently becomes a detox pie thanks to the lime, eh? —Erin Zimmer
In the alternate universe where I'm actually conscientious enough to "detox", I still think I would gravitate towards citrus fruits like clementines (my "detox" food of 2011). Right now I have two grapefruit waiting patiently to be consumed. There's something about the tanginess/acidity that makes me feel like I'm warding off bad things. —Christine Tsai
Between the tomatoes and the eggs, it's full of protein and not all that bad for you. Kind of like a warm protein shake? —Ed Levine
Last year I said my detox food was grapefruit and pomelos, but this year I'm changing my answer to..."less food." I guess I'd incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables, which I eat embarrassingly little of on a regular basis, but more important to me is eating less unhealthy food, which I eat embarrassingly too much of on a regular basis. —<a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/user/profile/roboppyRobyn Lee
Vegetable-heavy frittatas are the food I fall back on when looking to lighten up what I'm eating. I love just about any vegetable to begin with, but it feels like a much more substantial meal than just a pile of veggies, so I don't feel deprived or like I'm "eating light." If you're really looking to lighten up, you can up the ratio of whites-to-yolks without changing its character too much. And a teeny bit of a flavoring ingredient such as bacon or chorizo or Parmesan cheese can go a very long way. —Carey Jones
I feel better when I eat more veggies, so I like to declare it Greens Night and cook up a ton of spinach and kale. Slivered garlic is good with it (and a few sauteed onions.) If you must have it creamy, a little crème fraîche goes a long way. —Maggie Hoffman
I don't detox
I think last year I said something like "I don't do detox," but I think saying that actually gives the question too much credit because it implies that one can be "toxed" in the first place. Unless one is actively consuming a poison that requires an antidote, the concept of "de-toxing" is all very new-agey and not based in any sort of real nutritional science. So my answer is: I don't detox, because I don't tox to begin with.
I will, however, say that as soon as I get back from my new years travels in Japan with my wife and mother, I plan on going on an experimental four week long vegan diet as a sort of mind and body exercise, as well as an excuse to eat more of my favorite food (tofu).
p.s. I understand that the term "detox" has some sort of colloquial meaning that roughly translates to "eat something really healthy with not much fat and a lot of fiber," but I feel the colloquialism has the ill effect of reinforcing the poorly supported pseudo-science certain folks use to rationalize irrational diets, thus I try not to use it.
Certain spoonable foods
This might sound strange, but when I'm feeling burnt out from too much holiday cheer, I steer towards the warm and the spoonable. In particular: Greek yogurt, oatmeal, soups, quinoa, hummus, and hot tea/water. And all that virtue's easily balanced by a plump spoonful of Nutella. —Jessica Leibowitz
Raw cucumber slices
It's such a good snack. If only I remember to buy it and be un-lazy enough to cut it and put it in a bag and bring it to the office...where it has a face-off with pie or something of that nature on the tasting table. —Leandra Palermo